A tender document is an offer to supply products or services or execute work at specified price and under stated conditions. If you're supplying products to other businesses or to the public sector, the process of submitting a tender in competition with other businesses is common. In essence, a tender document is a letter explaining how you'd meet your customer's expectations and why you're the best one to do it. By writing a tender, you can hone in on your goals, strengths and weaknesses and heighten your profile with your customer.
The Information Requested
A tender document addresses several expectations from a potential client, beginning with the purpose of your bid. You need to spell out your credentials, describing past experience. A case study of successful work performed for another client tends to be persuasive. Explain how you'll provide the service or product, articulating your company's processes as well as the human and technical resources required for execution. Provide a timeline of deliverables and describe how the project will be managed. Identify risks or potential issues that may retard or obstruct implementation. Detail your pricing structure as well as aftercare considerations. Potential clients also want to know about your team's skills and experience. Finally, compose a cover letter summarizing the point of the tender as well as its structure.
A Team Response
Once you know what is expected in a tender, organize a team to address its various sections and manage the writing process. In a sense, you're writing a condensed business plan for a specific product or service. Figure out who is responsible for researching and gathering the information required. Someone may need to coordinate the various materials that'll help you or a writer compose the tender document. If anything about the tender is unclear, phone or meet with the client and ask questions. In general, clients would like nothing more than to contribute ideas to your process of responding to their needs.
Plan and Write to Win
Knowledge of ways that you can differentiate yourself from competitors can help you to write a winning tender document. Brainstorm new ideas to tackle a potential client's concerns about the products and services that you provide. If he has a worry about the maintenance of a product, find a solution that addresses that worry. Generally, clients want value for their money, so pricing isn't the sole determinant of who walks away with the business. Figure out what you can offer that your competitors can't, such as an improvement in service, reduced risks, greater reliability or better quality. In addition to addressing what the client wants, contribute a helpful idea.
A poorly written and presented document can thwart even the best of tenders. Keep the document business-like, using short punchy sentences and paragraphs. Bullet points and headers can help to segment the document. Make sure that all of the elements of the document, such as resumes of team members, have been standardized. The font should be uniform throughout the tender. Have an editor review and revise the document, and then bring in a proofreader to comb for typos and omissions. Include a table of contents so the reader can leaf through the document and easily locate particular sections.
Kay Tang is a journalist who has been writing since 1990. She previously covered developments in theater for the "Dramatists Guild Quarterly." Tang graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science from Yale University and completed a Master of Professional Studies in interactive telecommunications at New York University.